Ryan White and National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day

Ryan White and National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day

April 7, 2016
logo for youth aids awareness day

Twenty-six percent (26%) of new HIV cases in the U.S. are among young people (ages 13-24), according to CDC. Cases are overwhelmingly among gay/bisexual men, particularly African Americans. While more and more youth living with HIV are being linked into care, over 50% who are HIV infected do not know it and, by default, are not in care.

The role of this HIV/AIDS Awareness Days, therefore, has heightened importance to not just raise sensitivity to HIV/AIDS but to encourage young people to adopt safer practices, get tested, and--if infected--engage in care.

As the generations pass, it seems that fewer people are aware that the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program was named after Ryan, a young man who fought AIDS discrimination in the early years. He died 25 years ago, about the time the legislation was enacted.

Youth Served by Ryan White

Two men

The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) has since created a rich history as an important provider of care to young people like Ryan. According to HRSA's 2014 Ryan White Client-Level Data Report6.1% of RWHAP clients are under age 24.

RWHAP clients have higher rates of retention in care, and better viral suppression, compared with national data. The same holds true for younger Ryan White clients (ages 13-24 years), but younger RWHAP clients do not fair as well as adult RWHAP clients. Their retention in care rate is lower (75.1%) than the national RWHAP average and viral suppression was much lower (64.6%).

Tailoring HIV/AIDS Services for Youth

This site's topic page on Adolescents and Youth presents a collection of clinical practices, protocols, and tools to help programs more effectively serve young people. Below are highlights:

Part of Collection

HIV/AIDS Awareness Days and Ryan White